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20 FACTS ABOUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
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20 FACTS ABOUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
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Ten Commandments, Twenty Facts about the

Twenty Facts about the Ten Commandments

1. The phrase "Ten Commandments" is found only three times in Scripture (Exodus 34:28; Deut. 4:13; Deut. 10:4).

2. They are a summary or basis of the whole law of Moses in the same sense that "on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets," as Jesus taught in Matthew 22:35-40.

3. They are the only part of the law of Moses spoken by God's audible voice to Israel (Deut. 5:22; Deut. 10:4).

4. They were not known to Adam. He had only one law and sin was imputed to him and the whole race for breaking it (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12-21). Adam had no father or mother to honor, no one to commit adultery with, and no one to steal from-he owned everything.

5. The Ten Commandments were not known to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the other fathers of Israel before Sinai (Deut. 5:2-3). There were fourteen commands to Abraham and his seed (note, Genesis 12:1; Genesis 26:5), besides the laws of human government handed down from Noah (Genesis 9:1-18). The laws in Israel before the Sinai commandments (referred to in Exodus 16:28) were the 184 commands given to Moses up to that time, not the Ten Commandments.

6. They were not known in Israel before Sinai (Deut. 4:7-8; Deut. 5:2-3; Neh. 9:13-14).

7. They are found only in the law of Moses (Exodus 20; Deut. 5). If they had not been made a part of this law we would not have them, for the location of the stones on which God wrote His copy is not known. To make them separate from the law of Moses and call them the law of God because God made a copy of them is a fallacy.

8. They are not the only commandments of Moses. There were 203 others (about the sabbath, passover and other things as well as personal commandments) given to him before the 10 on Sinai; and 155 were given to him when he received the 10 (Exodus 20:18-23:33). After receiving all these commandments the book of the law was ratified by blood of animals (Exodus 24:1-8). Later, 2,345 other commands were added to the book of the law of Moses (Exodus 24-Deut. 34). See 2,713 Commands in the Law of Moses.

9. The Ten Commandments were called "the covenant" because they were the basis of the entire contract between God and Israel at Sinai (Exodus 34:28; Deut. 4:13). They were not the entirety of the law of God and Moses, just the first part of the contract spoken audibly by God. God added no more audibly (Deut. 5:22), not because His law was ended, but because Israel begged not to hear His voice any more, lest they die (Deut. 5:23-29; Hebrews 12:18-21).

10. The Ten Commandments were given along with the rest of the law of God and Moses to Israel only (Exodus 24:7-8; Exodus 34:27-28; Leviticus 26:9,44-45; 1 Kings 8:53; Acts 3:25; Romans 2:14-29; Romans 3:1-2; Romans 9:4-5). Gentiles were to have no part with Israel in keeping the law unless they became a part of the nation of Israel; then there was to be one law for both in some things (Exodus 12:24; Numbers 15:16,29). Gentiles could not partake with Israel in the following matters:

(1) Eat the passover without being circumcised (Exodus 12:43,45).

(2) Eat holy things (Exodus 29:33; Leviticus 22:10-13).

(3) Be anointed with the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:33).

(4) Take part in or come near the tabernacle work (Numbers 1:51).

(5) Have part in the priesthood (Numbers 3:10,38).

(6) Offer incense (Numbers 16:40).

(7) Come near priests in their service (Numbers 18:4,7).

(8) Be king over Israel (Deut. 17:15).

(9) Be exempt from paying interest (Deut. 23:20).

(10) Marry widows in Israel (Deut. 25:5).

No scripture in the Bible teaches that Gentile nations had the law of Moses and were under obligation to obey the Ten Commandments or any other detail of Moses' law. The word "stranger" is used 80 times in that law, and not once is it stated that they were equal with Israel in having the law. God dealt with Gentiles under the old program of imputing sin to them through Adam (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12-21) and saving all who obeyed the gospel (or program of grace) which was never a part of the law of Moses (Romans 4; Galatians 3:3-16; Hebrews 4:1-2; Hebrews 11:1-40). Gentiles were under the Noahic covenant (Genesis 9) and the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-3; Romans 4), but not the Mosaic covenant. The fact that Gentiles had no part with Israel in the law is confirmed many times in the New Testament:

(1) When Christ came to fulfill the law, He went only to Israel (Matthew 10:5-6; Matthew 15:24)

(2) Christ took the kingdom of God (not the law of Moses) from the Jews and gave it to the Gentiles when Israel made her final rejection of Him and His gospel (Matthew 21:33-46; John 10:16).

(3) Gentiles are now blessed along with Israel through the gospel of the New Testament, not the law of Moses (John 3:16; Romans 1:16; Romans 11:1-25; 2 Cor. 12:13; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephes. 3:1-6; Col. 3:11).

(4) Gentiles do not become Jews or Israelites by faith (see notes, Romans 2:28-29; Romans 9:6-7).

(5) Under the law Jews had all the advantages over the Gentiles (Romans 2:17-29; Romans 3:1-2; Romans 9:4-5). Under the New Testament and the gospel this is not true (Romans 10:9-21; Romans 11:1-25; 2 Cor. 12:13; Galatians 3:28; Col. 3:11).

(6) Paul said that the Gentiles did not have the law (Romans 2:12-16).

(7) The apostles stated that Gentiles were aliens and strangers from the covenants and promises of Israel (Ephes. 2:12,19).

The apostles decided at their first general conference that Gentiles were not required to be circumcised, keep sabbaths, or observe any other part of the law of Moses (Acts 15:1-41).

11. The Ten Commandments as such were not kept by early Christians, as some teach. Only nine commands of the Ten Commandments became a part of the New Testament program, the fourth concerning the sabbath being omitted entirely. Christians are not obligated to keep any particular sabbath, much less the old Jewish sabbath. Early Christians did not keep it and did not teach others to do so (Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:9-10; Col. 2:14-17). They observed the first day of the week, not as a matter of commandment, but for other reasons.

12. No statement in Scripture hints that the Ten Commandments were passed on from mouth to mouth before they were given on Sinai, as some teach.

13. They are the only part of the law of Moses that was written on the two tables of stone (Deut. 4:13; Deut. 9:9-15; Deut. 10:4), and the only part that is emphasized by Paul as being abolished (2 Cor. 3:6-15, notes; Col. 2:14-17).

14. They were given at the same time as the so-called ceremonial laws (Exodus 19:1-23; Exodus 24:12-18; Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30; Exodus 27:8; Exodus 31:18; Exodus 32:1-19; Exodus 33:6; Exodus 34:1-32; Leviticus 7:38; Leviticus 25:1; Leviticus 26:46; Leviticus 27:34; Numbers 3:1; Numbers 15:22-23; Numbers 28:6; Hebrews 8:5).

15. The Bible recognizes the Ten Commandments as the law of Moses as well as the law of God. The many names and titles of the law prove there is no such thing as the Ten Commandments being the law of God and not the law of Moses. They prove also that the other laws are not laws of Moses without being laws of God.

The following terms are used interchangeably in Scripture of the same law-the law of God and of Moses: "a law" (Deut. 33:2-4; Psalm 78:5); "the law 194 times; Joshua 1:7-8; Joshua 8:31-35; Joshua 22:5; 2 Kings 17:13; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 7:12; Matthew 11:13; Matthew 23:23; John 1:17; Hebrews 7:11-10:28); "My (God's) law" (Psalm 89:30-31; Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 7:2; Ezekiel 22:26; Hosea 8:12-13); "the law of the Lord" (1 Chron. 16:40; Ezra. 7:10; Luke 2:22-39); "the book (not stones) of the law of God" (Joshua 24:25-26; 2 Chron. 17:6-9; Neh. 8:1-13; Neh. 9:3; Neh. 10:29); "the book of the law of Moses" (Joshua 8:31; Joshua 23:6; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chron. 34:14-19; Neh. 8:1); "the law of God and the law of Moses" (John 1:17; John 7:19; John 8:5; Acts 6:11,14; Acts 13:39; Acts 15:5; Romans 7:22-25; Hebrews 10:28); "the law of commandments and the handwriting of ordinances" (Ephes. 2:15; Col. 2:14-17); "the law and commandment" (2 Kings 17:34); "the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment" (2 Kings 17:37); "the law and the commandment" (2 Chron. 14:4); "the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses" (2 Chron. 33:8); "My (God's) commandments, and My statutes, according to all the law" (2 Kings 17:13; 2 Kings 21:8); "the whole law" (Galatians 5:3); "Moses" (Luke 16:29,31; Luke 24:27,44; Acts 15:21; Acts 26:22; Acts 28:23); and "the old testament" (2 Cor. 3:6-15; Hebrews 8:6-9:10).

16. Christ and the apostles spoke of the Ten Commandments as part of the law of Moses. To make them the law of God only would contradict such teaching. See Matthew 22:36-40 with Exodus 20:1-6; Mark 7:10 with Exodus 20:12; Romans 2:21-22; Romans 7:7-16 with Exodus 20:12-17. See also Joshua 7:11; Exodus 20:15.

17. They are declared by other Bible writers to have been written by Moses as part of his law (Joshua 1:8-9; Judges 3:4; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 18:6; 2 Kings 21:8; 2 Kings 23:25; 2 Chron. 35:12; Neh. 1:7; Neh. 8:1; Neh. 10:29; Malachi 4:4). The sabbath in particular (the fourth of the Ten Commandment) is declared to have been given by Moses (Neh. 9:14).

18. They are spoken of as the covenant God made with Moses and Israel (Exodus 34:28; 2 Chron. 5:10). Moses took the book of the covenant, including the Ten Commandments and 115 other commands, and dedicated it (Exodus 24:7-8).

19. The one law of God and of Moses is not divided into a moral law (as some call the Ten Commandments) and a ceremonial law (as they call the ordinances, statutes and judgments)-one written only on tables of stone and the other in a book. The whole law, including the Ten Commandments, was written in Moses' book in due time. The word "moral" is not found in Scripture, but whatever is in the Ten Commandments that suggests the term moral law is also embodied in other laws called ordinances, statutes, and judgments. Regarding the regulation of life between the sexes, for instance, there are no less than fourteen commands in Exodus 20:18-23:33 (Exodus 20:26; Exodus 21:2-11,22-23; Exodus 22:16-17,19). While three commandments of the Ten Commandments concern proper relationship to God, there are no less than thirty-five such commands in Exodus 20:18-23:33; (Exodus 20:23-26; Exodus 22:20,28-31; Exodus 23:13-19,21-22,24-25,32-33). If the Ten Commandments, then, are moral law, the thirty-five similar ones in the ordinances, statutes, and judgments are also moral law. In like manner the Ten Commandments regarding the sabbath and governing relationship with parents and society in general, are far outnumbered in other parts of the law; so if one part is moral law the other parts must be also.

The fact that some of the laws of God and Moses are called "commandments," and others statutes, judgments, and ordinances, does not allow us to divide the whole into moral and ceremonial laws. An ordinance is simply any authoritative rule of conduct, whether religious or civil. To say it applies only to the rituals of the law of Moses is unscriptural. The word is used of religious (Exodus 12:14; Exodus 13:10; Ezekiel 46:14; 2 Cor. 11:2) and civil laws (Exodus 15:25-26; Leviticus 18:1-30; Leviticus 22:1-9; Joshua 24:20-25; 1 Samuel 30:25; Isaiah 58:2).

Seven Examples of Ordinances:

(1) Moral laws on marriage and sex in Leviticus 1-29 are called ordinances (Leviticus 18:30)

(2) The health law of cleansing from defilement is called an ordinance (Leviticus 22:8-9)

(3) Religious laws-the first and second of the Ten Commandments-are called ordinances (Joshua 24:20-25)

(4) Laws of conquest regarding spoils of battle are ordinances (1 Samuel 30:21-26)

(5) Civil laws of justice are called ordinances of justice (Isaiah 58:2)

(6) Religious laws of giving to God's temple are called ordinances (Neh. 10:32)

(7) Civil laws of human government that have nothing to do with religion are called ordinances (Romans 13:2; Col. 2:14,20; 1 Peter 2:13)

"Judgments" is just another term for "commandments," for there is no difference in the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20:1-17 and the judgments of Exodus 21:1-23:33; Exodus 24:3; Leviticus 18:4-5,26; etc. In both subject matter and wording they are essentially the same. The Hebrew for "judgments" is mishpat (OT:4941), meaning a sentence or formal decree; a divine or human law; a charge. All commandments are laws, decrees, judgments. The judgments of Scripture were to be kept as much as commandments (Leviticus 18:4-5,26; Leviticus 19:37; Leviticus 20:22; Leviticus 25:18) and were commanded as were other commandments (Deut. 7:11; 1 Kings 8:58).

Statutes are simply authoritative ordinances or laws. The word is used in Scripture of laws God has commanded (Exodus 15:26; Exodus 18:16; Leviticus 10:11; Leviticus 18:5,26). There is no technical difference between the meanings of commandments, judgments, ordinances, statutes, or laws that would change the requirements of God to man. Whichever word is used, the laws are just as binding in one case as the other. Sometimes judgments and statutes are used together of the same laws (Leviticus 26:46; Deut. 4:1,5,8; Deut. 5:1), and sometimes statutes and commandments or some other combination is used of the same laws (Deut. 5:31; Deut. 6:1-2; Deut. 7:11). All commandments are commanded (Deut. 4:13; Deut. 6:25; Deut. 27:1); the covenant is commanded (Deut. 4:13); statutes are commanded (Deut. 4:14; Deut. 6:17); judgments are commanded (Deut. 4:14; Deut. 6:20); testimonies are commanded (Deut. 6:17,20); ordinances are commanded (Numbers 19:2; Numbers 31:21); and all words of the Lord are commanded (Exodus 35:1). All the laws spoken on Sinai, tabernacle laws as well as others, were commandments (Exodus 34:32; Leviticus 7:38; Leviticus 25:1; Leviticus 26:46; Leviticus 27:34). We have no authority to say that the ordinances of Ephes. 2:15; Col. 2:14 refer only to a ceremonial part of Moses' law. The whole law of Moses contained commandments, statutes, and ordinances (2 Chron. 33:8); so when the law was abolished (2 Cor. 3:6-15; Galatians 3:19-25; Galatians 4:21-31; Hebrews 7:11-10:18) all of these, including the Ten Commandments, were abolished. In fact, it was the Ten Commandments written on stones that Paul specified as being abolished and done away (2 Cor. 3:6-15).

Therefore, in view of the above facts, the theory that "the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Ephes. 2:15) and "the handwriting of ordinances" (Col. 2:14-17) refers solely to all the laws of Moses exclusive of the Ten Commandments, and the theory that the ten commandments are the only part of the law of Moses that has not been abolished-these theories are proven unscriptural.

20. The Ten Commandments are not the only ones referred to when the word commandment is used in Scripture. Many times in the Old Testament the Ten Commandments are not referred to at all (Exodus 15:26; Genesis 26:5; Leviticus 4:2,13,22; Leviticus 22:31; Leviticus 27:34; etc.). In Matthew 5:19; John 14:15-21; John 15:10; Acts 1:2; 1 Cor. 14:37 ; 1 John 2:3-4; 1 John 3:22-24; 1 John 5:2-6; 2 John 1:6; Rev. 12:17; Rev. 14:12; Rev. 22:14, the word "commandments" refers to the commandments of the New Testament (of which there are 1,050), not the Ten Commandments. A study of the New Testament commands will show that nine of the Ten Commandments were carried over into the new covenant, and that the one excluded was the fourth commandment, concerning the sabbath (Romans 14:5-6; Col. 2:14-17).

God spoke the Ten Commandments and then Israel begged that His voice be heard no more, lest they die (Deut. 5:22-29). God then spoke audibly only to Moses, giving the rest of the commands for Israel to obey. Moses wrote the Ten Commandments and many others in a book which he ratified by the blood of animals (Exodus 24:3-8; see Two Objections to Mosaic Authorship). God wrote on stones and Moses wrote in a book. See 2,713 Commandments in the Law of Moses.

Compare "God spake all these words" with "Moses wrote all the words" (Exodus 20:1 with Exodus 24:3-4).



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